Even the most rural county law enforcement agencies are stocking up on battlefield-tested gear that has come home from Iraq or Afghanistan, and that the Department of Defense distributes at little or no cost. Even Goshen County, Wyoming, population 13,000 got two grenade launchers. Other counties stocked up on M16 and M14 assault rifles, body armor and even MRAPs, or Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles.
I wrote about the increased militarization of cops for High Country News (which has a fabulous new website, by the way!)
Photos: Heavily armed riot cops were at the ready at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in 2008. Jonathan Thompson/gin+gelato photos.